There are three common varieties of wood-boring beetles. The most common, long-horned beetles, find their home in firewood. These beetles lay their eggs within the firewood before it is cut. The most-frequently attacked woods are hickory, ash, and oak. But no wood is exempt; any wood in the proper condition is susceptible to being attacked. Long-horned beetles are about half-an-inch to one-and-a-half inches long and boast antennae about half the length of its body. They also have lengthy legs. Their color varies. After the firewood makes it way inside where it is warmer, the adult beetles may exit the wood. While their mere presence may be annoying, they don’t actually damage dried or finished wood, so they pose no threat to inside furniture.
Another common wood-boring beetle is the flatheaded borer. These borers can also enter wood that’s destined to become firewood. The adult flatheaded borers are flat with short legs and antennae. These leave the wood in the summertime. They have no attraction to dried or finished wood. One flatheaded borer—the bronze birch—is sometimes found inside homes where birch logs are used as décor in fireplaces.
Bark beetles are small and come in large packs. Together they may infest firewood. They also have the ability to tunnel under a tree’s bark, contributing to the eventual death of the tree if the bark beetles grow too numerous or infest it in heavy numbers. These beetles won’t harm wood that is seasoned or finished.
Once an infestation of beetles has started, it’s hard to control them; thus, prevention is key. Sanitation is critical. Tree limbs that have died should be removed around your home. All scrap lumber should be removed to avoid infestation. When selecting firewood, only take inside what you plan to burn right then.